The new rigid and derisory levels of compensation for whiplash injuries have nothing to do with putting injured people at the heart of the legal process (Tight leash on whiplash crash claims, 29 May).
Instead, these changes are a cynical attempt to curtail access to justice while saving money for fat-cat insurance companies. Figures used to try to justify the new measures are nine years old and pre-date previous reforms, since when the cost of claims to insurers has fallen dramatically. Insurers’ failure to pass on savings made during the pandemic demonstrates further how consumers are unlikely to benefit from lower premiums from what is fundamentally a reduction in insurance cover. Last year the cost of injury claims to car insurers fell by almost a quarter while the cost of premiums fell by just eight per cent.
Furthermore, the insurance industry has suggested that it considers all whiplash claims to be “exaggerated” in some way. It is an insult to the vast majority of people who need to claim compensation because they are suffering genuine injuries which should never have happened in the first place.
People do not realise the importance of compensation until they are injured. It is only then when they will realise that this is no victory for consumers.
Immediate past president of APIL